From: Krista Watson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2017
(602) 640 5044
Wasan A. Awad
LLC TO PAY $60,000 TO SETTLE EEOC EQUAL PAY AND NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT
Paid Less Than Male Co-Worker For Doing Similar Work and Told Not to Speak Spanish on Production Floor Though It Was Part of Her Job
NM- - The U.S. Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that Kevothermal, a manufacturer
of vacuum insulation panels, will pay $60,000 and furnish injunctive relief to
settle an EEOC lawsuit based on the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964.
filed the lawsuit to obtain relief for Ms. Guerra, a former employee, who worked
as a supervisor for Kevothermal. EEOC contends that Kevothermal did not pay Ms.
Guerra as much as a male supervisor, even though they performed the same job
duties and had comparable experience and responsibilities. Instead, Kevothermal
paid Ms. Guerra less, even after she complained about the disparate wages. According
to EEOC’s suit, Ms. Guerra had worked for the company prior to the male
supervisor’s hiring and, in fact, had trained him. Such conduct violates the Equal
Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which prohibits discrimination in compensation on the
basis of sex. Such conduct also violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964 (Title VII) which prohibits wage discrimination based on sex.
suit also alleged that Ms. Guerra, who is Hispanic, was instructed not to speak
Spanish on the production floor, even though it was part of her job to do so.
Specifically, Ms. Guerra translated for other employees who only spoke Spanish.
EEOC alleged that Kevothermal’s restrictive language policy was national origin
discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
filed EEOC v. Kevothermal, LLC (1:16-cv-852-MCA-LF) in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Mexico after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation
settlement through its conciliation process. In addition to paying $60,000 to
Ms. Guerra, Kevothermal must also provide training on the EPA, national origin
discrimination and retaliation to non-managerial employees, managers,
supervisors and Kevothermal’s human resource official. Kevothermal is also
required to implement a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sex,
including unequal wages, and that prohibits national origin discrimination.
Additionally, Kevothermal will ensure that its policy includes an explanation
of how to report discrimination and an assurance of non-retaliation to
employees who complain. Kevothermal will also regularly review its compliance
with the EPA and adjust its employees’ compensation, if the company finds any
disparity between the wages paid to employees of the opposite sex, who work in
gaps have a wide and long-lasting impact, not only for the women who are paid
less, but also for their children and families. The gap follows these women
throughout their entire career, even affecting their retirement benefits. These
broad impacts amount to nothing less than wage theft,” said Mary Jo O’Neill, regional
attorney for the Phoenix District Office.
“Enforcing equal pay laws is an important priority for the EEOC,”
commented Phoenix District Director Elizabeth Cadle. “EEOC will continue to
advocate for employees to be paid equally when they perform substantially equal
work and ensure compliance with Title VII and the EPA.”
EEOC advances opportunity in the
workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest
EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.
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